Plugin sniffing

Filed under: Internet · Date: Tue Aug 15 19:54:08 2006

It's incredible how much stuff happens under the hood of your internet browser. After upgrading to the latest beta release of Internet Explorer -- which features an alert for (non-obstrusive, thank god) sites which are trying to use browser plugins are made known to the surfer. And there are plenty of such sites...

It turns out most JavaScript -based statistics gathering scripts try to tell if a user has Windows Media Player, Quicktime, etc. plugins available. It's easy to understand why such information is queried, but it's not still something I'd accept.

So far Internet Explorer 7 does not feature an option to block a certain site's access to browser plugins. The warning and asking for access could be removed altogether; instead adopting the path Microsoft has taken with Flash animations -- the user needs to click on an animation to activate it. Why not make media player plugins available only after the user has clicked on the embedded container...


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